Liverpool defender Joe Gomez could be set to depart Anfield this summer after struggling for game time since returning from a serious knee injury.
Speaking to Football Insider, former Leeds United striker Noel Whelan suggested that a move out of Merseyside for the centre-back is “on the cards” with Aston Villa long term admirers of the 24-year-old.
It was reported by the Mirror earlier this week that Villa boss Steven Gerrard is keen to bring the Englishman to the West Midlands in order to get his career back on track having failed to bring Gomez to Villa Park in January.
The defender has been limited to just 20 appearances across all competitions this term and now finds the likes of Virgil van Dijk, Joel Matip and Ibrahima Konate ahead of him in the pecking order.
Although Gomez has been an excellent servant for Liverpool, it seems incredibly unlikely that the 24-year-old will manage to climb up the pecking order and become a regular under Jurgen Klopp once again.
Prior to rupturing his patella tendon on international duty in November 2020, Gomez had been a regular in the Reds’ Premier League title-winning campaign in 2019/20, making 28 league appearances as well as another 15 across other competitions.
However, since returning to the fold, the Englishman has found himself further down the food chain and it appears as though his days at Anfield are now numbered.
The £85k-per-week defender has struggled to impress when handed a rare opportunity in the top-flight this season, losing possession on average once every 4.5 minutes, although game time has been limited.
However, based on his performances prior to his injury, Gomez would be an excellent addition for Villa with Gerrard reportedly keen to upgrade on his current first-choice centre-back pairing of Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa.
In the 2019/20 season, the defender won over half of his duels at 56% whilst also averaging an 88% passing accuracy and providing 1.4 interceptions, 0.8 tackles and 2.1 clearances.
To put that into perspective, Konsa, whose average match rating of 6.73/10 this season has been slightly lower than Mings’ 6.91, has provided a slightly better duel success rate of 64% but has a lower passing accuracy at 86% whilst averaging 0.5 interceptions, 0.9 tackles and 2.9 tackles.
Of course, it also has to be considered that playing in a title winning-team, Gomez’s Liverpool would’ve seen much more of the ball over the course of the season than Villa have this term and therefore the defender wouldn’t have been called upon as regularly to intervene.
There is proof that the defender would slot in nicely at Aston Villa if that was to be his next club and Liverpool should allow the 24-year-old to move on with game time set to be limited at Anfield. It’s ruthless given his injuries but he surely has no place in Klopp’s plans for the future.